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Andy Hicks (born 10 August 1973, Tavistockmarker, Devonmarker, Englandmarker) is an English professional snooker player presently from Cornwallmarker. Hicks, nicknamed "The Cream of Devon", is a World Snooker Championship semi-finalist and he has been ranked in the top 20 players in the world, but has never broken into the top 16.

Career

Although a professional since 1991, Hicks, a left-hander, first came to prominence in the 1995 World Championship, in which he reached the semi-finals, beating Steve Davis, Willie Thorne and Peter Ebdon along the way, but being blocked from the finals by Nigel Bond, 11-16. He has never reached a major final, but reached the semi-finals of the four BBC-screened events within 2 seasons - the 1994 Grand Prix, the 1995 UK Championship and the 1996 Masters (as a wild card).

He spent most of the second half of the 1990s close to the Top 16 elite section in the world rankings, peaking at no. 17 in the 1995/1996 season, and winning the 1997 Masters qualifier. He struggled in the early part of the 2000s however.

Later, he was only one loss away from being bumped out of the Top 64, rallying to defeat Craig Butler 10-9 in a close 2003 World Championship qualifier. He ended up ranked no. 62 for the 2003/2004 season. At this point he had only qualified for the world championship once in six years, a 10-4 defeat to eventual winner Ronnie O'Sullivan in 2001. However, he returned to form after this. He reached the second round of the 2004 World Championship, beating Quinten Hann in a match memorable for a near-fight between the two players at the end, triggered by Hicks pointing out to Hann that he was likely to drop out of the Top 16 as a result of the loss. Hicks later admitted his regret at this. This marked the only time Hicks had won a at the Cruciblemarker since 1995. He next gave Ronnie O'Sullivan a challenge in the second round, before ultimately losing, 13-11.

In 2004/2005 Hicks made it to the quarter-finals of the British Open with a first-round victory over Ken Doherty.

Returning to the Top 32, in the following season he reached the last 32 in four of the six tournaments he entered, and retained his Top 32 status (marginally, at no. 31). He played in the 2006 World Championship, and lost to Steve Davis, 4-10, in the first round. In a World Snooker interview, Hicks said of his comeback, "It’s amazing how things can change because a couple of years ago I was close to giving the game up. I’m playing great snooker and it's nice to be involved in the later stages of tournaments. I’m proving to myself that I can compete with the top players."

Although slipping only a single position in the rankings (from no. 30 to no. 31) for 2006/2007, the year was not truly successful for him, and neither was 2006/2007, resulting in a drop down to the no. 41 position for 2007/2008 world rankings. After failing to qualify for the Welsh Open and China Open, he contemplated retiring if he could not retain a top-64 ranking.

He has compiled 100 competitive during his career, and scored a 147 in a 1994 WPBSA Tour event. Despite winning only one key event, Hicks has career winnings of GB£562,560 (up to the start of the 2006/2007 season). his new nickname is the toast of tavistock

Personal life

He currently lives Launceston, Cornwallmarker and is the staff pro at Bell's Court Snooker Club in Falmouthmarker. His wife Rachel was working there when they met; they married in 2005, and had their first child in 2006. He also plays golf, in a local club named after him.

Tournament wins

Non ranking



References

  1. Official Homepage of Bell's Court Snooker Club



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